In preparation for tonight's Town hall meeting sponsored by the Summit Group, we will include some clean up items along with a couple of guest submissions.
But first, here are the details of the meeting.
Tonight, March 25, 2013 @ 7:00 PM
Pineview Lodge @ Wolf Creek (Behind Harley & Bucks)
We will also include a letter to Commissioner Zogmaister that was forwarded to us with some sage advice, we think:
Commissioner Jan Zogmaister : I am a part-time resident in Ogden Valley for over 15 years and own a condominium and townhouse in Moose Hollow which is a part of Wolf Creek Resort. As such I pay over $10,000 a year in property taxes.
When the Summit Series people arrived on the scene approximately a year ago to evaluate and ultimately purchase Powder Mountain, they were favorably viewed particularly in light of the previous developer (Powder Town). It is an understatement to say that Powder Town was not favorably viewed by the residents of Ogden Valley.
Fast-forward a year and the residents of Wolf Creek while still hopeful that the Summit Series people will be good citizens and custodians of the treasure of Powder Mountain, some of us are getting concerned and skeptical about Summit Series and what appears to be elitist behavior. Some people are concerned that after a year or two the Summit Series will turn Powder Mountain into a private club similar to the debacle at Wolf Creek which led to its bankruptcy.Since this proposed $17 million bond whether revenue or otherwise, is being issued under the umbrella of the Weber County government unit, it would make sense to insure a public benefit in the form of a covenant that Summit Series agrees to keep Powder Mountain (or at least the currently existing ski mountain) both public and affordable. Affordable would be defined as not raising ticket prices more than the cost of living etc. along with no additional fees to the public.I hope you will give serious consideration to my proposal to insure that there is a public benefit in exchange for this bond and that Powder Mountain continues to be available to all of us.Joe Buchanan
We will finish up with some pertinent links from the last couple of days regarding the proposed bond.
UPDATED: Weber County Commissioners Make Plans to Carry $17 Million Bond for Pow Mow Private Developers Summit Group
From the Weber County Forum: Ogden Valley Forum: Weber County Commissioners Make Plans to Carry $17 Million Bond for Pow Mow Private Developers Summit Group - Updated
We have applauded the Summit Group in the past for their apparent openness and outreach to the community, but were disappointed to hear that the county has chosen to present this and potentially act on a $17 Million decision with little or no input from the residents of the county. We hope the Summit Group will have an open discussion this evening and we urge them to stick around until every question from residents and neighbors has been fielded.
What say ye Ogden Valley faithful?
Update @ 11:30 am on March 25, 2013:
We just received this guest post from Steve Clarke
Be informed on the Summit Bond questionThe $17M bond for roads, water, and sewer at Summit Eden are a hot topic. Why no public hearing, why no news coverage, what does it mean to me as a taxpayer?We all assume the worst when we don’t know better, so let’s make sure we have the facts before exhausting our energy.The applicable law is Utah Code Title 11 Section 42, the Assessment Area Act. Here’s the link: http://le.utah.gov/UtahCode/
section.jsp?code=11-42 . Once you’ve waded through the pages of definitions we see a state law written to enable the “local entity” (in our case the County) to work with developers to install public utilities (which will eventually become property of the County) using a bond which is paid for by the property owners within the area being served.There are several ways the public is protected in case the developer goes bankrupt. For example: The County holds a lien on the property that supersedes even the 1st mortgage of a residence built on the property, the bond is set up in phases, a reserve fund can be established, etc. Our State legislature has thought long and hard about protecting our interests as taxpayers.The law provides for property owners within the area being assessed to file a written protest. It requires public notices and a public hearing for those property owners. In the case (like Summit) where there is a single owner the public notice and hearing can be waived.Folks, if we have a concern about this process let’s get our input to our State legislators. Our Commissioners and the petitioner (Summit) are following the law to the “T” in this case.The bigger issue for us is how we protect the rural atmosphere and other values of our General Plan in the face of “big money” and developers of every persuasion coming to the Valley, as they surely will. The answer is to get land use ordinances in place which help manage the growth without stepping too heavily on the property rights of each and every one of us, especially our larger land owners. Having been involved in this process for the last 10 years I can tell you we are not there yet! Ask the Commissioners and our Planning Commission for action. They know what the next steps are, but those steps require a consulting budget and public process which will demand their commitment. With folks like Summit at their desks almost every day asking for their support our County officials need to know we care and wish planning to take a higher priority.Respectfully, Steve Clarke